tv The FOX Report With Shepard Smith FOX News December 23, 2010 7:00pm-8:00pm EST
>> yeah. >> books for christmas? what the heck is that? [ laughter ] >> i don't get books. that's not toys. that's books. i don't get books for christmas. >> you don't get books for christmas? >> no. i say this. >> bret: monster pajamas, he was really angry. special all-panel christmas eve show tomorrow night. thanks for inviting us into your home tonight. that's it for this "special report." fair, balanced, we like folks -- we like books here, and unafraid. >> jon: tonight, on "the fox report." >> sick of the rain. >> the rain has gone away, but it left one heck of a mess behind. >> it's a lot. >> jon: tonight, cleaning up and why the most dangerous part of this disaster could still be on
the way. >> this man is accused of stealing secret classified documents and giving them to wikileaks. now, the united states government is accused of torturing him behind bars. don't worry, the u.n. is on the case. plus, as south korea carries out huge military exercises, north korea threatens massive retaliation and it's not just the usual rhetoric. because now the north is threatening to go nuclear. in fact, the north koreans are now threatening what they call a sacred war if south korea provokes them. i'm jon scott in for shep tonight. we begin with the growing crisis on the korean peninsula and sharp new threats of war from pyongyang in the north. those threats came as south korea launched a major new round of military exercises involving tanks, helicopters, and live ammo.
this area is just about 20 miles from the north korean border. and north korea called these war games, quote, a grave military provocation. the country's defense chief warned of serious trouble if anything touched north korean territory and assess his fighters are getting fully prepared to launch a sacred war of justice. using nuclear deterrent any time it is necessary. north korea likes to talk tough and earlier on "studio b," one expert on the region says is he not worried. >> north koreans don't want war. they know they would lose one. what he want this to do is destabilize south korea and they want to eventually take it over. but they know that if it really gets down to a general conflict on the korean peninsula, they lose. >> jon: still, tense times coming just one month after a showdown left four south koreans dead and the world is now watching every move that both sides make. jennifer griffin on the fox top story life at the pentagon. so, jennifer, what's the thinking? is this just a lot of bluster
from the north? >> well, they were talking about nuclear holy war. yes, if you talk to most north korea experts, they say this is most likely hyperbole, rhetoric. they don't think there is really going to be a nuclear war. the south koreans didn't stop their exercises. those exercises are going to go on for the next three days. but new mexico governor bill richardson, who is just back from pyongyang, he describes the peninsula right now as a tinderbox. >> >> jon: and you just spoke with governor richardson about his trip, right? >> i did. i just spoke to him and asked him what had changed since he had been there last? he has been on several trips in the past there. i asked him what the difference was. take a listen. >> what surprised me the most about this trip is that there seems to be a new leadership in the foreign ministry and the military that was more pragmatic. they were ready to listen more. they listened when i said "don't react militarily. do something about allowing
inspectors into the nuclear sites and military hotline and sell your fuel rods to south korea." >> the white house has not yet debriefed governor richardson about his trip, but he told me that, in fact, he had to turn down two recent invitations from north korea because the white house had asked him not to go. it's not clear yet what caused them to give him the green light to go this time, jon. >> jon: jennifer griffin at the pentagon. thank you. two days ago it was a bomb scare. today it was the real thing. packaged bombs exploding at the swiss and chilean in rome injuring two people. officials say they are reviewing their own security situation in the city. it comes as we are hearing warnings about possible attacks in the u.s. and europe over the holidays. two weeks ago a bomber blew himself up in sweden but did not kill anyone else. earlier this week british police arrested a dozen suspects on terror charges. investigators say someone has claimed responsibility for
today's explosions in italy. it's not al qaeda. greg burke streaming live tonight from rome. greg? >> jon, that's right. it's anarchists who have taken responsibility. that's what investigators suspected early on and that's what turned out to be, in fact, true as they later took responsibility. now, the first attack around noon local time hit the swiss embassy, somebody opening up a package there. he was injured quite severely taken off to the hospital. operated on, and there is a chance he is going to lose the use of one hand. we will see what happens. just hours later, it was the embassy of chile, the same scenario somebody opening up a pack and it exploding. he also taking off to the hospital, apparently not injured so severely as the first one. both of the embassies are just outside of downtown rome. and the general area of the very well-protected u.s. embassy as well. now, rome city officials don't believe this is related to tuesday's bomb square on the --
scare on the subway. >> i believe this attack is not related to the recent false alarm we have had in the last few days. >> now, jon, every holiday season, certainly since 9/11, i have watched it here, there have always been fears in rome because so many tourists come, some people visiting the city of possible problems then every year nothing has happened. they have gotten through it this year apparently has started for the worse. jon? >> jon: greg burkelive in rome. thank you, greg. the state department allowing american diplomats and their families to return to their respective embassies and consulates. it warns american visitors there is still a terror threat in the kingdom. the warning urges u.s. citizens to carefully seek -- pick a secure place to stay, remain alert in spots that westerners visit in saudi arainia, and keep a low profile when traveling around the country. the state department reports while the security situation there is now better since a 2007
terror plot, groups tied to al qaeda still operate in the saudi arabia. parts of the u.s. west are just a complete mess tonight and folks are looking at millions of dollars in damage after a week-long storm slammed california and parts of arizona, nevada, and utah. in highland, california, hillsides saturated with rain have just started sliding down right into people's homes. >> patio furniture, my spa, my entertainment center with my tv, my flower pit, all my planners and plants, it's a loss. >> heard just a big rolling thunder. bolders come crashing through. it woke us all up. >> jon: the mud is only part of the problem. now it turns out all of that rainwater pushed trash, pesticides and pack tiara into some of the waterways. that's forcing officials to close down miles and miles of beaches. it's not clear when they might be able to reopen. accuweather senior meteorologist
jim koseck with us now. they are saying this contamination could last for weeks? >> oh, absolutely, jon. it's not a quick fix clean up here. this was such a massive storm system brought over 17 feet of snow to portions of the california, sierra, let alone many places out over the south land into the central valley topping a foot of rainfall. so as you saturate the ground, the only thing that's left is run off. so what's on top of the surface is able to be whisked away. it doesn't magically go on into the ocean because of the tide cycle that water comes back on shore. once it makes it to the beaches, it's no quick clean up here. it's gonna have to take its time. unfortunately right through the holiday weekend and even the new year. big problem, jon. >> jon: big threat now is still mud slides, right? >> absolutely. because even though we have dried out for the time being, there is still a lot of loose debris that has to come. everything with gravity has to move here. at the same time, even though it's not going to be a major storm system like we just had, there is more rain in the
forecast for most of california saturday night, christmas night on into sunday morning. >> jon: christmas coming, a lot of folks are going to be traveling over the next few days. any trouble spots? >> well, i think we are going to be looking at the remnant of that storm system that california had over the four corners. that's actually going to go into the high plains. the worst is will stay south and west of the twin cities. nevertheless, mall of america deflated with 17 inches of snow on the roof. they have got to get it fixed. now we're talking about an inch or two from twin cities south of chicago. heaviest snowfall to the southwest. entire stretch of interstate 35 from the canadian border to mexican border will be impacted with this storm system over the next 24 hours. once you get south of interstate 70 it will turn into ice around wichita area farther south dallas, austin, san antonio, heavy pockets of rain and embedded thunderstorm. not just the frozen have a variety we will have to contend with you about also heavy doses
the rain. we have to contend with. regardless, jon, this is a setup as we head into christmas day. maybe it's not accumulating and in most areas it won't. but there is going to be some areas from richmond, virginia, raleigh the upstate of south carolina, even the metro area that will see wet snow throughout the day. kind of puts you in a christmassy mood given that temperatures are going to be above freezing. fine traveling to grandma's house that day. christmas night where that precipitation is left over along the i-95 stretch north carolina eastern virginia is where it could get dicey in terms of black ice, jon. >> jon: they will be rolling a lot of snow men on that part of the east coast. jim kosek accuweather. thanks, jim. united nations looking into complaints of torture against the united states. it all has to do with this man, the army private suspected of handing over classified documents to wikileaks. details on that ahead. plus, nine years ago a torn
american flag fluttered over the wreckage of ground zero a silent witness to the attacks that cost so many lives and brought so much pain. that flag was badly damaged, but like new york city and this nation, it was not beyond repair. today a group of people making it their mission to make it whole. >> the national 9/11 flag was the largest american flag to survive the attacks of 9/11. >> jon: now a team is traveling across the country to help americans piece that flag together. >> local service heros, individual communities are actually stitching the flag back. >> be a part of suing suing this one back together. >> the 343 guys that we lost is one of the reasons why die this. >> jon: bringing back old glory coming up. it's called the new humana walmart-preferred prescription plan.
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>> jon: wikileaks entire collection of leaked u.s. diplomatic documents now said to be in the hands of a norwegian newspaper. until now, only these five news outlets were known to have access to the material. wikileaks has been sharing selective portions of them. and so far less than 2,000 of the documents have gone public. but the norwegian paper claims to have all 250,000 secret state department cables. no word on how it got the material. the managing editor says there are no restrictions and the newspaper will publish anything it finds relevant. the u.s. soldier accused of stealing those documents and giving them to wikileaks in the first place currently locked up in a marine corps prison. supporters say the military has been mistreating him and now the united nations top torture representative has launched an investigation. former army private bradley manning known as brad ass 87 said to be locked up in solitary confinement. some say the conditions amount to torture. the pentagon says officials
treat manning like any other prisoner. "the fox report's" chief correspondent jonathan hunt joining us now. so what authority does the united nations have here, jonathan? >> well, this investigation, jon, will be run by the u.n.'s geneva-based human rights council and its torture envoy. what he will do is speak to those who have made the complaints on behalf of private bradley manning. he will also ask to speak to u.s. military officials and possibly u.s. government officials. he could also ask to actually go and visit pfc bradley manning at the base in quantico. what he can then do, if he finds that there are, indeed, human right violations is basically write to the u.s. government saying cease and desist those violations. practically speaking, the u.n. can't do much more, jon, than write a letter. >> jon: wikileaks founder julian assange is weighing. >> in julian assange has been talking about this in interviews. what he said in one of those interviews is that if private bradley manning did, indeed, leak those documents, then it
was a political act. assange said, quote, is he a political prisoner in the united states. he has not gone to trial. he has been a political prisoner without trial in the united states for some six or seven months. and he went on. his conditions have been getting worse and worse and worse in his cell as they attempt to pressure him into testifying against me. that's a serious problem. now, we should point out that julian assange has always said he has no idea who actually leaked all of those documents and he had never heard the name bradley manning until it was made public in the media. jon. >> jon: somehow i don't think most americans have too much sympathy for former private manning. jonathan hunt, thank you. there is word that julian assange is planning to write a memoir set for release sometime next year. he reportedly sold the rights to publishing houses in the u.s. and britain. the man behind the controversial secret-spilling web site first made headlines after releasing thousands of secret u.s.
military documents on the wars in iraq and afghanistan. officials are investigating the leaks but so far have not charged assange in connection with any of the releases. and one of wikileaks possible future targets is apparently trying some preemptive damage control. wikileaks has been threatening to release embarrassing documents about a large bank and bank of america executives seem to be a little worried. companies that track internet domain names reports somebody has recently registered hundreds of sites with names like brian moynahan blows.com and brian moynahan stocks.com. brian mow hand is b of a's chief executive. if his bank owns the web sites, that means critics can't can have access to them. president obama finally making it to hawaii but he had another phone call to make about the new nuclear treaty with russia. and pentagon updating military chiefs on the plans for ending don't ask, don't tell. we're live at the white house.
>> fresh off his major political victory yesterday in congress, president obama today speaking by phone with russian president medvedev about the senate's freshly passed nuclear arms treaty. but we're told moscow's vote on whether to ratify it as well likely won't happen until the middle of january. the so-called start treaty aims to cut u.s. and russian long range missile nuclear arsenals from 2200 each to 1550 apiece.
we're told president obama and medvedev agreed that yesterday's vote was historic event and that medvedev hopes russia's parliament will follow suit. they still need time to examine the small print before giving it the green light. president obama made that phone call to the russian president from hawaii. finally got there last night after putting off his trip to valley support for the nuclear treaty. wendell goler is live at the white house. the president was going to try to make up for at luce some of that lost time. >> it was nearly a week late. first lady michelle and daughters maliyah and sasha have been waiting for him out in hawaii since they left the white house last saturday. even before air force one touched down officials here announced the president had extended his vacation by a day. he will now return to washington on january 2nd. he was greeted at hickham air force base with the tradition ley. when he got to the base honolulu our time. today he got in a round of golf.
senator going down the air force one steps in front of, today he got in a round of golf. reporters got no pictures of that they did get some shots of the first dog bo enjoying his first trip to hawaii. bo is a pretty good gig with 35 fenced in acres here at the white house. he seemed to enjoy the beach of neighbors who were trying to chase him back to the house where the president is staying. aides say the president plans some golf and a lot of reading on his vacation, novels and lou cannon's biography of ronald reagan entitled president reagan the role of a lifetime. jon? >> jon: yesterday i know the president signed a repeal of don't ask, don't tell. today a reminder from the pej that policy will not change right away. >> a memo sent out by defense secretary robert gates made clear it won't change in the next month and maybe not even early next year. gates' memo says the policy won't change until 60 days after
the president and the joint chiefs of staff certify that the military is ready to do it, quote, in a matter consistent with the standards of military justice, military readyesness, pardon me military readiness and cohesion. mr. obama ordered that this process of being ready to repeal don't ask, be done in a matter of months. gates made clear in his memo that they will draw up this process deliberately and in the meantime, he said, nothing changes. >> jon: you didn't get a trip to hawaii out of, this hey, wendell? >> no. but my buddy mike emanuel is out there working hard. his family also out there several days before he was able to leave the white house because he was covering the president, pushing congress in the lame duck session. >> jon: wendell goler with the overcoat on outside the very chilly white house, wendell, thank you for sticking with us. republicans getting ready to take control of the house next month, they tell us they will not shut down independent ethics
office the democrats created. some republicans opposed it at the time. they also say they will post bills on the internet before lawmakers vote on them. require any spending increases to be offset with budget cuts. and continue the ban on lobbyists in the house gym. toyota agrees to pay $10 million to the family of four people killed last year when their run away lexus flew off a california freeway and burst into flames. that's the word from a lawyer involved in the case. driver called 911 when he realized his gas pedal was stuck. he was going 120 miles per hour and couldn't stop. >> jon: the crash killed everyone in the car. investigators say a floor mat that was the wrong size jammed the accelerator that led to the recall of million of vehicles to replace the mats. millions more to replace gas pedals that could stick. the economic news seems good
today, consumer spending is up. layoffs are slowing. home sales reportedly are on the rise. but does that mean the economy is really on the mend? a closer look in live reports coming up. >> one person in one of these and take care of like one square mile in about 15 minutes. and it would take, you know, five to ten officers a couple of hours. >> jon: it's a bird, it's a plane -- no, it's the palm bay florida police. the latest tool for law enforcement next. get double mils on everyurchase. so we earned a holiday trip to the big apple twice as fast! dinner! [ garth ] we get double miles every time we use our card. and since double miles add up fast, we can bring the who gang! it's hard to beat double miles! i want a maze, a ord, a... oww! [ male announcer ] get the venture card from capital one and earn double miles on every purchase, every day. go to capitalone.com. i wonder what it coulbe?!
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>> jon: couple crediting 4-year-old son with saving their lives after their house caught on fire. our top story on a fox trip across america. ohio. a fire marshal just outside canton says if it wasn't for this little boy, the family might not have lived through the house fire. dad says he, his girlfriend, and three children were asleep when the refrigerator short circuited, sparking the blaze. here is what his son said he did. >> i looked up, smelled something funny. i went in the kitchen, and there was fire. i waked mommy and daddy up. >> jon: everybody okay. they are now staying with friends. michigan. someone outside detroit robbing an atm using a front end loader to rip the thing off its foundation. here is how it looked from the camera inside the machine. no word yet of any arrest.
>> florida. the palm bay police department using paragliders to serve and protect. one officer said they help in searching for missing persons and marijuana growing fields. the cops says it's cheaper than using a helicopter and faster than using officers on the ground texas, it's a busy time of year for santa but he took time off in houston to dance on this billboard platform. no word on exactly why old saint nick was up there but did he have on a harness. safety first. and that's a fox watch across america. you know, they don't mess around in wisconsin when it's time for football. check out time lapse video of shoveling out green bay. some 450 people working to clear the stands for this sunday's packers game against the new york giants with that many shovels going it only took a few hours to get things all set yesterday. this something of a tradition in green bay.
and each football fan gets 8 bucks an hour for the effort. i'm jon scott in for shepard smith. this is the fox report. it's the bottom of the hour, time for the top of the news. the economy is getting stronger. experts say there is still work to do before we can put a dent in the nearly 10% national unemployment rate. the labor department reports the number of people filing new jobless claims dropped by 3,000 to a seasonably adjusted 420,000. it's the second drop in three weeks. and while more americans bought new homes last month, economists say the housing industry is still in sham bells. we have team fox coverage. anita vogel is in california covering a report on consumer spending. first, go to the fox business peter barnes with the news live from washington. how bad is the housing situation, peter. >> jon, the housing marketed remains the lump of coal in the economic stocking. commerce department report sales
of new homes 5% in november at a rate of 300,000 units. that's less than half the rate that economists consider healthy. good news is that when home builders build fewer houses it helps to clear out the excess inventory more quickly, jon. >> jon: new year what are experts expecting for the economy. >> many economists have revised up their forecasts thanks to tax and stimulus compromise that president obama and republicans agreed to last week. economists now looking for about 3 to 4% growth next year. they are hoping that that is enough to pick up job creation to maybe 200,000 or so jobs per month. that would be double the rate of about 100,000 jobs a month this year. jon? >> jon: peter barnes in washington for us. peter, thanks. shoppers opening their wallets a big wider this holiday season. that's good news for retailers across the country, of course. good sign for the overall economy. the commerce department reports
consumer spending rose .4% in november, that's the fifth straight monthly gain. leading the spree wealthier shoppers buying high end items like ipads and smart phones. anita vogel with the news live from the luxury swing at south coast plaza mall in california. why are high end shoppers so willing to shell out the money this year, anita. >> hi there, jon. apparently these are folks with money to burn and they are burning to spend it these are people who are very much over the hole legality thing. very comfortable with their place in life. comfortable with the stock market, the economy. and their overall financial position. this christmas they are pretty excited to lay out the green. >> they are tired of holding back. and they have held back enough where they have saved enough money, i think where they can okay, let's go spend now. they have been spending. if it's from $10,000 diamond necklace or $100,000 watch or it's a million-dollar ring. >> and, jon, you can buy all of
those luxury items here in the luxury wing of the south coast plaza. all of the high end stores behind me. louie vitton, cardie. it's loaded with people and they are spending money. >> john: they are walking around obviously but with they actually buying anything. >> yeah, they are. lots of people with shopping bags walking by. i have been going into the stores and there are people who are spending money. but i have got to tell you, here in this luxury wing, not a lot of sales. these stores, they don't really have to have sales to get the people in. the shoppers in these stores are willing to spend the money and they are not looking for a bargain. they are looking for items exactly what they want. >> it makes me feel good to spend a little bit more, maybe, and make somebody happy. because everybody has done without. so, that's just a little bit of an extravagance. it feels good. >> jon, one interesting fact. did you know that 20% of the nation's wealthiest people make up 40% of the retail sales this
christmas season? and a lot of those people are right here at the south coast plaza. back to you. >> jon: we wish them all. maybe they can help us all out. anita vogel, thanks. meantime, as millions of americans pack up their cars and hit the road this holiday weekend, the cost of oil at a two year high. the national average for a gallon of regular gas tops $3. that's the latest from the a.a.a. we have seen price goes this high before, but never at this time of year. some analysts predicted upward trend might continue and prices could hit the $4 mark by spring. now, the rise of freedom. our cameras have been following the rebuilding of the world trade center site for months. we plan to be there for years to come. but americans across the country are also getting the chance to help with another 9/11 project. repairing an american flag that just barely survived the attacks. ♪
♪ o say can you see. >> it makes you want to cry it really does. the 343 guys that we lost is one of the reasons why i do this. >> shepard: new york city firefighter john wallace is on a mission to honor those who died in the attacks of 9/11 ♪ twilight's last gleaming. >> shepard: by traveling with a group called new york says thank you and restoring a flag that was nearly destroyed on that fateful day. >> people are still going to be looking at the hole in ground zero and all the things that will never be made whole again but this we can make whole again ♪ that our flag was still there. >> shepard: this modern day old glory hung from the scaffolding
of a damaged building next to ground zero and was rescued by construction workers in the weeks following 9/11. >> grab that needle and pull it through for me. >> shepard: nearly 10 years later what's now known as the national 9/11 flag is on a journey across the country. >> wow. >> americans have all 50 states are stitching it back together using fabric from retired flags that have survived local disasters. ♪ god bless america. >> shepard: on this day, soldiers and school kids at fort hood are stitching in fabric of a flag that flew on elementary school that flew on the shooting of fort hood massacre. >> something attempted to be destroyed and bring it back to life from pieces of other places that have suffered other problems. the tangible demonstration of the greatness of our nation and resilience of our people.
>> shepard: their hope is this labor of love will bring americans together and help the country heal one stitch at a time. >> this is a wonderful thing. i could do anything to give back to any community, it really helps me ♪ and the home of the brave jaime plascencia jon great story, great country. when the flag is finished, it will be part of the permanent collection at the 9/11 memorial museum. we'll have another report about the rise of freedom next week and every thursday here on "the fox report." you can watch the entire series on our web site foxnews.com/freeman freedom. we have a slide show, the images from the world trade center site and what it's expected to look like when it's all finished. they fight in the far corners of the globe to help us enjoy the holidays in safety. coming up, rick leventhal talks to a special group of marines
tracking down terrorists in the rugged terrain of afghanistan. plus, trouble in buckeye nation. how golden pants played a part in a big ban for a handful of ohio state football players. details straight ahead on "the fox report." ready sensei. hey tough guy, tat cold needs alka seltzer plus! it has the cold-fighting power of an effevescent packed in a liquid-gel for all over relief! hiyah! dude! [ male announcer ] you know her. we know diamonds. with 25% off our best selling jewelry, together we'll find the perfect gift, right down to the wire.
>> jon: sour news for the ohio state buckeyes just days before sugar bowl showdown with arkansas. involves five players, tattoo parlor and golden pants. for decades each buckeye player and coach gets miniature pair of gold pants for beating rival michigan. some of them sold the sacred charms for thousands of dollars. now the ncaa says these players, including star quarterback terrelle pryor will have to pay thousands of dollars to charity and sit out the first five games of next season. the players broke rules ranging from selling championship rings to taking improper benefits from
a tattoo parlor. they will not have to sit out for the sugar bowl january 4th. ohio state is appealing the decision. rahm emanuel gets the okay to run for mayor of chicago from the city's election board. this might not be the end of the legal battle. more than 2 dozen people have challenged his right to run because he live in washington for the past two years when he was white house chief of staff. image still owns a home in chicago but is he renting it out right now. at one point his tenant was running for mayor as well. mike tobin is in chicago. what did the board members say today, mike? >> in the end, the interpretation was that rahm emanuel left chicago in the service of the united states. he never abandoned his house, according to legal definition, anyway. he always intended to return it was really over before it began. particularly because the overseeing election official, a guy named joe morris old reagan advisor. he issued a nonbinding opinion in the we small hours of the morning that said rahm should be
allowed on the ballot. once that happened, there was little chance that the three election commissioners would vote otherwise. one of them is a republican. but all three of them came up through chicago's big democratic machine, jon. >> jon: but we haven't heard the last of these challenges, right? >> no, we certainly haven't. as soon as the decision was issued, one of the most credible of the objectors or the most credible of the on objectors. a lawyer in chicago. as promised marched across the street and filed an appeal with the circuit it is expected to work its way up to the appellate court. rahm emanuel said he would rather not keep fighting this battle but he will. >> others may decide that even after the recommendation and after the vote by the board that they want to continue. i have responsibility for my candidacy. i have a responsibility for my campaign, and that is to stay focused on the issues that the voters and the city will face in the future.
>> and as always the image image residency hearing was a zoo. election fraud for dummies, it's called e-manual. get it? someone scratched off rahm's name and wrote in scum which i think is a little bit rude. back to you. >> jon: mike tobin in chicago: killing of a taliban leader reportedly in charge of coordinating attacks on u.s. and coalition troops. we're told a precision air strike killed him in a province south and west of kabul. two other militants also said to have died there. the attack came just as the top u.s. marine commandant general jim amos made a trip to afghanistan to visit u.s. troops. rick leventhal has more from camp leather neck in afghanistan. rick? >> jon, the new 35th come dafnt the marine corps is the first aviator to get the core's top
job. fire pilot. he proved it to us on the way to helmand province by flying that plane. the general says the golf the surprise christmas visit is to meet with as many of the 20,000 marines on the ground here in helmand province as he can over the next few days to thank them for their services and sacrifice during this holiday season. and this afternoon the commandant spoke to a huge crowd of several thousand marines at camp leather neck. he stood on the back of an m-1 tank. the newest weapon on the war in the taliban. while we were here at camp leather neck. we also spoke to the regional commander general richard mills who says the enemy is back pedaling and those m-1s could help seal the deal. >> gives me the ability to stand off distance. very, very accurate fire power, which i can direct at specific targets to ensure that i don't hurt anybody but the person i intend to hurt and gives symbol against insurgency of my commitment on the ground to take ground, hold growrntiond and then turn it over to the afghan
people. >> general mills says he is optimistic the coalition is winning this fight and general amos says is he very impressed with what he has seen on the ground so far. jon, we will continue to follow the new commandant of the tour during his surprise christmas visit and bring you details over the next few days. >> jon: sounds like good news. rick leventhal live from afghanistan. thanks. a brand new electric car hitting the market, no gas required. consumers still will have to find a way to keep the thing charged up. are people ready to trade in a pump for a plug? details on that next. plus, it was a massive environmental catastrophe. a wave of toxic red sludge covering an entire town. now more than two months later the survivors have something to celebrate. their story just ahead.
>> jon: automakers have been calling electric cars the wave of the future for years. but there is a road block for would-be green drivers. you might call it range anxiety. the knowledge that these battery powered cars just can't go very far without a place to plug in and power up. jonathan serrie with the news live in our southeast news hub. john, than the nissan leaf, for example, we're told it can go about 100 miles but then you need to charge it up again. how is that going over with consumers? >> well, jon, the 100-mile range is more than enough to accommodate the average daily commute plus errands and then you plug it in at your house overnight. however, analysts say consumers will need a safety net to overcome their range anxiety. >> being able to convince a mass market that an electric car is a good substitute for short drives and more medium range drives daily use cycle that's where they have to count on states and the federal government setting up charging stations that can do 30 minute charges.
>> the leaf's competitor the chevy volt includes a gasoline engine that can carry the car an additional 340 miles after its battery runs out. but the volt's electric range is considerably lower than that of the leaf at about 35 miles, jon. >> jon: electric cars, i know, enjoyed a brief ride into the 90's and then they kind of disappeared. what make the leaf any different? >> yeah, well, back in the 1990s it was really california state zero emissions requirements that spurred the major automakers to start producing electric vehicles. but when the mandates were scrapped, so were many of the cars. since 9/11, there has been increased demand for cars that can run on domestic power instead of foreign oil. and nissan seems confident the free market is ready to sustain an all-electric car, jon. >> jon: jonathan serrie, thanks. in central florida, emergency officials say they are trying to find a man who is feared dead after a mind collapse trapped him under water it happened this afternoon about 50 miles
northwest of orlando. police say the victim, a supervisor at the mine, approached a lime pit after a routine blast. all of a sudden the ground gaveway. we're told a pontoon boat has been lowered into that pit. rescuers so far have not been able to find him. it's life in prison for a former dictator. our top story as we go around the world in 80 seconds. argentina. relatives of victims cheering after judges sentenced jorge for life in prison for crimes against humanity. prosecutors say is he responsible for torturing and mur murdering more than 30 prisoners for months after he led a 1976 cue. hungry, -- lung gather a load of presents for those hit. toxic red substance killed 10 people and left hundreds more homeless. the clean upongoing.
residents gathered at a community center during a charity event to receive gifts. japan, a nice hot bath for some animals at a children's zoo north of tokyo. these are billed as the world's largest rodents. zoo keepers adding a bucket of lemons to the water following a japanese tradition of bathing in sit truss for the winter solstice. for the first time santa traveling from the people's republican to visit a children's care home in shanghai. finland's santa claus foundation says there are only 50 official santas in the world. this is one of them. >> christmas is celebration for all the people in the world. >> they bring christmas cheer to the less privileged. that's a wrap on this fox trip around the world in 80 seconds. j n jon well, the rain may be over in southern california. but tonight new threats of mud slides, flooding and contaminated water. leaving some folks homeless and
facing unimaginable mess. a live report straight ahead. plus, hollywood lawsuits usually reserved for divorces or movie deals gone bad. not one of the worst disasters in u.s. history. why actor steven baldwin is reportedly suing kevin doesner. that's next. so now, i can join the fun and games wi my grandchildren. great news! for people with copd, cluding chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or both, advair helps significantly improve lung function. while nothing can reverse copd, advair is different from most other copd medications because it contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator, working together to help you breathe better. advair won't replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms and should not be used more than twice a day. people with copd taking advair may have a higher chance of pneumonia. advair may increase your risk of osteoporosis and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition
[ laughs ] that's so dumb. [ laughter ] nice. [ male announcer ] don't be left behind. get it first with at&t. the nation's fastest mobile broadband network. period. rethink possible. j n j n tiger woods losing another endorsement deal. officials at proctor and gamble say they will not renew their contract with the golfer after the end of this year. the company used woods and many
other athletes as part of it's gillette champions marketing program. gillette's people say they are phasing out that program and woods is not the only athlete whose contract they won't renew. many corporations have cut ties or distanced themselves from the golfer after revelations of his marital infidelities hit the headlines last year. might not top the list of celebrities we would pair to duke it out in a steel came but hey we will take what we can get. actor steven baldwin reportedly has some serious beef with fellow these mean kevin costner. he claims costner duked him out of becoming a investor in a company builds device to separate crude oil from water. bp reportedly bought a bunch of the devices for more than $50 billion after the golf oil gulf oil spill. baldwin wants some of the mullah. costner has not commented. >> jon: cool critter time now and a newborn who could play in the nba.
meet the latest baby giraffe at the buffalo zoo in new york. he is almost two weeks old and stands more than 7 feet tall. the zoo reports both mom and baby are doing fine. the little guy doesn't have a name yet. the zoo says it will let people start seeing him in the next week or so. updating one of our top stories tonight. a lot of folks in southern california are trying to figure out where to spend christmas after a river of mud flooded dozens of homes. days of rain triggered the mud slides. some houses are just not even safe to enter anymore. casey stegall live in our west coast news hub. casey? >> yeah, jon. we are not just talking about flooded homes tonight either. many roadways are also underwater. filled with all of that storm debrief which is certainly going to create some headaches for thousands of people as they travel around the southwest for the christmas holiday. here in california, the good news to report, the vast majority of people evacuated from their homes have been allowed to return. folks have spent much of the day cleaning up all of the mud and
the muck that you see there. over in arizona, the water also starting to recede. crucial rivers and creeks crested today in the town of beaver dam. which is in the northeast part of the state. it has been declared a state of emergency. six houses swept away by floodwaters there this week. in fact, an entire county in northern arizona declared a state of emergency tonight. and the threat for mud slides is still very, very real. meteorologists say it could take days, even weeks possibly, jon, for all of the hillsides to dry out. this is the most rain southern california has seen in five to six years. >> jon: what a mess. casey stegall, thanks. and on this day in the year 1620, the pilgrims got to work building their first permanent settlement in what we now know as plymouth, massachusetts. they had arrived on the play flower a week earlier after more than two months at sea and weeks looking for a place to call home. some were seeking religio